Do you think you could narrow down all the places you’ve travelled to and give me your top 5 all time favourite destinations?
A few years ago I was invited to do just that. To write this post on my top 5 destinations, the ones I would love to go back to – and I found it incredibly difficult.
But, after a few hours of serious thinking back over a lot of years of travel, both international and local, these are the five that I came up with. They’re in no particular order – if I was given a choice I really couldn’t choose between them.
I need a disclaimer here: I’m likely to change my mind about this list, probably several times (my prerogative).
1. The Himalayas – Nepal
I couldn’t not put this on my list.
Up until a couple of years ago I wouldn’t even have considered stepping out of my comfort zone and travelling to a culture so far removed from my own. When I decided to trek to Everest Base Camp though to celebrate my 60th birthday, it was a decision that was to have huge consequences and change my mindset completely.
The people and their culture, the chaos of Kathmandu, the incredibly inspiring landscape, all combined to make this one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever been on.
The mountains and the incredible calm that descends as you go higher is something that will live with me for ever.
What more can I say?
I’m was back there again early in 2015 and that was a story in itself, complete with an earthquake.
I’m going with general consensus here, I can’t possibly leave out Paris. I’ve been to Paris three times and I’d be quite happy to go back again and again and again. My ideal would be to rent an apartment, with a balcony of course, and spend a few months sipping on coffee or wine, people watching and writing my best seller.
It’s on my List. Not too much to ask for surely.
After days of trawling the internet when we were planning this holiday in 2007, my daughter found us a beautiful villa to rent in the village of Hersonissos. It’s about twenty minutes drive from Agios Nikolaos on the western side of the island. We were there for a relaxing, chilled out three weeks … bliss.
Crete has a long history. It was home to the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations and the legendary King Midas and the Minotaur. Evidence of these civilisations still remains and you can visit the main palace sites of Knossos, Malia and Phaistos to see surprisingly extensive remains and some beautiful frescoes that have survived to depict life over three thousand years ago.
We also made a visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Souda Bay where nearly two hundred Australian servicemen are buried. These men were all killed during the Battle of Crete in 1941 but, fighting alongside the allied resistance, the Australians forged a strong bond with the people of Crete.
Apart from that – beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, beautiful harbour, beautiful spot to relax.
Flinders Island had me hooked. I was there for only four hours and the weather was lousy, but I loved it. It’s a quiet little haven off the north east coast of Tasmania.
There’s no overcrowding, no hordes of tourists buying souvenir t-shirts and no café strips. There are no designer outlets or gift shops selling miniature replicas of historical monuments and you won’t get guided tours of palaces or ancient sites.
What you do get on this island is a sense of peace, calm and tranquillity where you can relax in a natural, unspoilt environment and enjoy your surroundings.
It’s not the easiest place to get to but I will get there again.
Florence is unique. It’s not as chaotic as Rome and its mixture of architecture spanning the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles is simply stunning.
Sitting in one of the many piazzas sipping chilled wine and watching the world go by, enjoying dinner in one of the many alfresco restaurants or strolling along the Ponte Vecchio as the sun sets over the River Arno.
What’s not to love?
I know it’s a difficult ask, but now it’s your turn to tell me your top 5 destinations.